John R. Post ’60 Academic Center, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA

To respond to the changing learning styles of students and provide facilities to support academic pursuits, our team of consultants, working closely with Saint Joseph’s University, developed a new campus hub for intellectual enrichment.

The Academic Center will consist of renovations to the existing 56,000 square foot Drexel Library and construction of the new John and Maryanne Hennings Post Learning Commons, a technology-rich facility for round-the-clock use by students and faculty. Serving the intellectual, technological and multi-tasking needs of today’s students and faculty, the Learning Commons will provide a welcoming environment for a range of activities: individual /quiet study, on-line research, collaborative learning, seminars and meetings, group preparation of large-screen presentations, and larger social gatherings.

The 37,000 square foot Learning Commons will provide users with ready access to books, periodicals, archives, electronic media and art. The Learning Commons will house a coffee shop, social study space, and open computer area on the ground floor; quiet individual and group study areas on the second floor; and special collections and exhibits on the third.

A 2,500 square foot, three-story glazed atrium serves as the point of entry and a link between the new building and the existing library. Service and orientation for users are centrally located in the atrium. More than a lobby, the atrium will play a pivotal role in reorganizing this sector of the campus. The positioning of the Learning Commons and the design of generous plazas and terraces outside are intended to literally become the crossroads of the University. Replacing parking lots and a diffracted site with the new Campus Park will provide routes through the atrium as well as around the Learning Commons to reinforce pathways to the chapel and the original Gothic classroom buildings and to create the new pedestrian way to the Maguire Campus.

Photo Credit: Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.